Amy MacRuari was born some time around 1315-1320 and is presumed to have died some time after 1370. She is also known as Amie MacRuari or Amy of Garmoran and was a noblewoman who became the divorced first wife of John of Islay, Lord of the Isles. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Amy was a direct descendent of Somerled though her father, Ruaidhri mac Ailein, sometimes known as Ruaidhrí Mac Ruaidhrí. At one point he was lord of large parts of what is now Lochaber and Lorn, before being stripped of his lands for plotting against King Robert the Bruce in about 1325.
In 1337, Amy MacRuari married John of Islay, Lord of the Isles. In 1344, most of Clan Rauri's lands were restored to Amy's brother, Raghnall mac Ruaidhri. Raghnall was murdered by William, Earl of Ross, at Elcho Nunnery near Perth in 1346. Amy was his sole heir and John of Islay claimed the clan's lands on her behalf. He then promptly annexed them for himself.
John of Islay's ambitions were not limited to acquiring his wife's lands. He was a supporter and close ally of Robert the High Steward of Scotland, the nephew and nominated heir (and eventual successor) of King David II. In order to cement this relationship it was agreed that John of Islay should marry Robert's daughter, Margaret Stewart. John was granted a papal dispensation to divorce Amy, even though the couple had three sons together, and in 1350 he married Margaret Stewart. John of Islay was granted additional lands in western Scotland as a dowry, in return for an undertaking that his sons with Amy would be passed over in the succession in favour of any children he had with Margaret Stewart.
From Amy's point of view, the only positive in what was otherwise a truly remarkable tale of betrayal was that the divorce settlement restored to her personal control the Clan Rauri lands annexed by her ex-husband four years earlier. Even this was only temporary, however, as John of Islay later succeeded in being granted a royal charter to some of the disputed lands. In later life Amy did much to develop the areas still under her control. She built or rebuilt a number of churches in the Western Isles, including Teampull na Trionaid or Trinity Church on North Uist. She is also said to have redeveloped Castle Tioram into the structure you see today.
It is unclear when Amy died. After John of Islay's death in 1386, their son Ranald succeeded in gaining control over more of the disputed Clan Rauri lands. He also served as a tutor to his younger half-brother (and John of Islay's heir) Domhnall, and is remembered as the progenitor of Clan Macdonald of Clanranald and Clan MacDonell of Glengarry.